Pot Prohibition is No Longer an Option

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Aug 6, 2001.

  1. By Deborah Jones, Vancouver Sun
    Source: Vancouver Sun

    The last time I smoked pot, it befuddled my brain. I was, oh, maybe 16 and it was the 1970s. Smoking marijuana was expected of teens, and I tried to like it. Instead, after six or so attempts, I gave up. I treasure clarity of mind too much to deliberately muddle it.
    Clarity remains elusive when it comes to pot. As of this week, federal regulations allow people who are extremely sick to grow, buy and smoke marijuana for medicinal reasons; the catch is, they need to obtain a physician's approval. This is wacky.

    Not only is the efficacy of pot as medicine scientifically unproven, but Ottawa has imposed on doctors the ridiculous role of policing a controversial substance that politicians lack the guts to deal with.

    The new regulations, which Health Minister Allan Rock announced in April and which came into effect July 30, are less about medicine than about the kerfuffle over decriminalization of pot. The fact that marijuana is now legal for medical use has nothing to do with its touted ability to relieve pain, depression or nausea. It has everything to do with realpolitik.

    In that respect, marijuana and tobacco have much in common.

    It's politically impossible to outlaw cigarettes. Although the adverse effects of tobacco are legion, too many people either want tobacco or can't help being addicted to it. Banning tobacco would be draconian in a democracy. It would also drive the substance underground, where it would spawn its own culture, black market and associated criminal activity -- just as pot has.

    Some people may chide me for comparing the two, but smoking cigarettes and marijuana are related. Both may be considered vices. Both have positive and adverse impacts on health.

    Medical research on marijuana is in its relatively early stages, but it's long been thought to alleviate pain and nausea. On the other hand, a recent U.S. study reported that the risk of heart attacks in middle-aged pot-smokers jumps five times in the first hour after they inhale. Furthermore, a 1998 paper by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse said marijuana can harm the respiratory system, physical coordination, fetal development and memory.

    The negatives of cigarette smoking are well known, and though you have to search long and hard for positives, cigarette smoking has been linked by researchers with a reduced risk of Parkinson's disease.

    If marijuana becomes legal, eventually it will also be found to be like tobacco in that regulators will tear out their hair over it.

    As an illicit drug, the social and health problems associated with pot have been underground and ignored or unknown. When marijuana emerges as a mainstream substance, it will cause the kind of problems we're now seeing with cigarettes, from worries about second-hand smoke to the health of smokers. In addition, we'll fret about road safety with drivers on pot out and about. They're already out there, but we have few ways of spotting them or measuring their ability to drive.

    As you've probably guessed, I don't personally like marijuana, although I have no objection to its use by responsible adults. I do know we have to find an intelligent way of dealing with its prevalence. An estimated 1.5 million Canadians smoke the stuff, and an estimated 600,000 Canadians have acquired criminal records from using it and being caught since it was made illegal in 1923, although police in B.C. are now relatively lenient.

    There is a groundswell of support for changing how we deal with marijuana; you need only look at the relative success of the B.C. Marijuana Party, which captured 3.5 per cent of the vote in the last provincial election with just one issue (decriminalization). A Gallup poll last March that suggested 76 per cent of British Columbians think possession of small amounts of pot should not be a crime.

    Rock's measures to allow marijuana for medical purposes came about because of court challenges. Now that he's gone this far, he should regulate pot rather than leaving it in the realm of crime. I don't support this without reservation; I think decriminalizing pot will cause its own set of problems.

    As researchers find scientifically-sound evidence that marijuana can alleviate certain health problems, they'll also likely bolster emerging evidence that it's harmful.

    But if THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is indeed found to be a medical miracle, researchers will develop more accurate and less harmful ways to deliver it than by lighting reefers and inhaling smoke. We'll start to figure out how to deliver it and will no doubt in time develop harm-reduction programs for people who over-indulge (they'd as likely over-indulge with an different drug, say alcohol).

    For now, I don't see any way out of the marijuana controversy other than to decriminalize it. Given its popularity, and our widespread public acceptance of it, marijuana is in the same league as tobacco -- a substance freighted with problems, but for which so many people are clamouring, it's become impossible to prohibit.

    Complete Title: Pot's Fraught with Perils, But Prohibition is No Longer an Option

    Deborah Jones is a member of The Vancouver Sun Editorial Board.

    Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
    Author: Deborah Jones, Vancouver Sun
    Published: Saturday, August 4, 2001
    Copyright: The Vancouver Sun 2001
    Website: http://www.vancouversun.com/
    Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca

    Related Articles & Web Sites:

    B.C. Marijuana Party http://www.bcmarijuanaparty.ca/

    Canadian Links http://freedomtoexhale.com/can.htm
  2. They could regulate people driving stoned just like they do drunk drivers. You smoke and drive you will get fucked by the judicial system. As for MJ being as harmful as cigs, i really don't think so b/c there are chemicals that are put into the cigs. naturally grow MJ doesn't have added chemicals that produce globs of tar that fill the lungs. In all the years of MJ being around wouldn't you think that if MJ caused lung cancer as much as cigs it'd be a known fact seeming as weeds been around for roughly 40 to 50 some odd years.

    As for pot becoming as addictive as cigs, its possible but i don't think it'd get so bad as to some people smoking packs of MJ a day. Although that there are a lot of people who smoke a lot of joints daily, i still don't think that people would get to the point where if they didn't have their MJ they'd get pissy or crave its so badly as cigs.

    But what do i know. I am only a 19 year old stoner who doesnt smoke cigs.
    This is only my view/opinion this subject.:bongin:

  3. Erm tobacco has also been around a long time, and they didnt find out it caused cancer untill the 70's? im not entirely too sure though
  4. HAHA 08-06-2001, 01:21 PM<--- way to bring it back:hello:
  5. Wow didn't even see the date on it lol. I just read it lol
  6. Both pot and tobacco have been around forever.

    The thing is, tobacco [especially cigarette tobacco] is usually coupled with hundreds of chemicals and additives that make it exponentially worse for you than straight tobacco would be.

    MJ [unless your getting it from a sketch source who is trying to rip you off] is generally untainted, and certainly not loaded with artificial chemicals like today's tobacco products are.

    A lot of people talk about lung cancer and strength, but the thing people overlook is the fact that it does NOT necessarily have to be smoked. More and more people are investing in vaporizers, which take away a tremendous amount of the gradual harmful effects of smoking, while nearly maximizing the effects of the herb itself. It can also be eaten, which uses NO smoke at all, but still allows for the effects.

    Just throwing that stuff out there :D
  7. Nicely put.
  8. This is very true. There are sickening statistics that show the increase in Tobacco related cancers starting some where between the 40-60s (I forget exactly) which is directly related to the radio active fertilizer required to be used by Federal law, (even more sickening).

    The only thing i didn't like about the article was how she talked about scientists setting out to discover safers ways to consume THC when we already vaporize and make edibles.
  9. Marijuana does not even come close to the harm of tobacco. Check out this video about marijuana and cancer. If you are in a rush watch just the last 5 minutes.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJmQ16cGBHU]YouTube - Dr. Donald Tashkin Marijuana Lung Cancer Study Pt 1 of 2[/ame]

    Dr. Tashkin's work has been used by goverments all over the world to prove the harms of marijuana, his more recent work though shows that marijuana does not cause cancer. Here's a news article about it.
  10. In a quite similar manner, articles like this one often say that there is barely any research on medical marijuana...but Granny Stormcrow's list pretty much debunks that.

    ....she also said that medical marijuana's efficacy is unproven. Yeah well.....no. It is proven, she just doesn't accept the proof. Doesn't change the fact that its effectiveness is well established.

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